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[Soto Cinematics] 'The Big Show' series by Pierre Clostermann


Lemsip
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3 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

But as a big fan of Clostermanns book(s), I should point out Georges-Eric Coisne's work as well, covering Clostermanns operational life in detail by matching his logbook to the squadrons ORBs. He also goes into detail about how and when Clostermann started writing "The Big Show".

 

Great information thank you. After researching to make my videos as accurate as possible, I am well aware of the historical discrepancies in The Big Show (and it has gotten very confusing at times!). However, I did not know there were such massive differences in each edition. For example in my 2004 English edition, Clostermann flies with Ian Blair in 'Tussel in the Stratosphere'. Similarly, it has been a nightmare trying to work out what markings his planes had in each chapter, as JF-E seems to be inserted earlier in the book than records show ('Train Busting' will be remade because I am unhappy with the inaccuracy). I also wish I had a copy of that study by Coisne, but I will continue making the series with even more caution than I already had. Thanks again!

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ZachariasX
35 minutes ago, Lemsip said:

 

Great information thank you. After researching to make my videos as accurate as possible, I am well aware of the historical discrepancies in The Big Show (and it has gotten very confusing at times!). However, I did not know there were such massive differences in each edition. For example in my 2004 English edition, Clostermann flies with Ian Blair in 'Tussel in the Stratosphere'. Similarly, it has been a nightmare trying to work out what markings his planes had in each chapter, as JF-E seems to be inserted earlier in the book than records show ('Train Busting' will be remade because I am unhappy with the inaccuracy). I also wish I had a copy of that study by Coisne, but I will continue making the series with even more caution than I already had. Thanks again!

 If you need details for making movies, just PM me. Coisne details every single sortie.

 

The book is less then 10€, it's a steal and readily available. It is more like a thesis than a book, but that to no detriment of the content. If you are somewhat proficient in French, you'll have little problems reading it, as to you it is obvious what Coisne is talking about in every sentence, as he always stays on topic.

https://www.amazon.de/Pierre-CLOSTERMANN-Journal-opérationnelle-Janvier/dp/1656024578/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&ie=UTF8&keywords=coisne clostermann&language=en_GB&qid=1617366647&sr=8-1

 

I wish I had this book 30 years ago. Although it puts a lot in different light, I find it does not hurt Clostermanns book at all. On the contrary, as you can enjoy the book for what it is much more and don't get distracted for taking it for what it was never supposed to be. Also it tells you much more about Clostermann himself as you can see what he weights important in life.

 

Read the "The Big Show", then "Une Sacrée Guerre", basically an interview where he details much more of his life and discusses many parts of "The Big Show" and then take Coisnes book as reference. Fiction cleary became fact to some extent, even in Clostermanns own mind, but the way he adapted history I find is rather telling if you are interested about the man himself.

 

But to summarize his operational life, he was a very talented (and fit) air cadet, and was sent to 341 Free French beginning of 1943 to fight. Although he was known to be a competent pilot and he had some exploits, he had the habit of losing his leader. He lost Martel in a fight where he, now on his own got two Fw-190's. But even in his book, he (in some editions) worried what Martel, his leader, would be thinking and hoping he is ok. As it didn't happen the first time, he got a monumental reprimand (also commented on by Al Deere in hos memoirs) by Martel. Soon after, during a mission he lost the by now totally exhausted René Mouchotte out of sight and Mouchote would not return from this mission. Clostermann rationalized that elaborately and concluding (which is plausible) that Mouchote wasn't shot down but got lost and out of gas hat do bail out over the Channel. One cannot overstate the importante of faith a leader must have in his wingman for being there. If that faith is gone, nothing would mend it. On that topic, Deere was commenting on the requirement of always having the wingman behind you, as it really paid dividends.

 

This was enough that faith in him as a No.2 was destroyed and, although putting it nicely by giving him a choice to where to go, Malan and Deere kicked him out of No.341 Squadron. He went for No.602, as Jaques Remilinger went there some months before, his old pal from 602. Ian Blair remembered Closerman joining 602 "under a cloud". Remlinger was a very well liked fellow. Clostermann on the other hand was was a more particula creature "with strong beliefs". Even though everyone respected that (he could admitedly pilot a Sipt in a way almost no one could in 602 and was usually the one to perform if the Squadron had to show off), Clostermann and Remlinger together, they jarred.

 

Clostermann gives subtle hints of that in his own accounts like the audio takes on youtube, or "Une Sacrée Guerre", where is very casually says that he would separate himself from the crowd, how he openly distances himself from the ones who not only very readily took their American prescribed MDMA but sometimes would take more than that, and being the one who would study the flak bulletins, the weather and reports of other aircraft, wheras most would just fly their missions and don't care about anything. He was also interested in the aerodynamics of the aircraft and sometimes was sent giving lectures to new pilots. This is why in his book, he was chosen to arbitrate an argument between Spitfire and Tempest pilots. He writes he did so by explaining such that everyone understood they themselves had the better aircraft. he definitely was a good talker.

 

After being sent home in fall 1944 due to mental and physical exhaustion, he made the decision of writing "The Big Show". One has to keep in mind that he was an extremely popular contributor for Newspapers, as he could write in English, French and Portuguese. And he was good at it (as we know). It gave him some coin and probably from total boredom while stuck in an office. He also seved as an liaison officer to the Free French Navy and was involved in the convoy shipping. Whereas he actually was on such a convoy to Murmansk is not really clear.

 

After lots of lobbying he got back to operational flying with Wing 122, where he joined the squadron in a phase of rest in February. They had been mauled by constant action in Jaunary, hence February was a good time for him to get the grips with the plane and the situation without excessive risk. From then on, he transferred between the different squadrons of the wing and it is confusing enough that in his book, the pilots he names he occasionally allocates to the wrong squadrons. But overall, it he serves as he writes.

 

I'm glad, he wrote the book as he did. Most facts need a little love to make them a fine story. And a fine story it is.

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Diable d'Homme !

Le Grand Cirque est -je crois- le premier livre acheté avec mon argent de poche.....jeune potache à la sortie du film une certaine homonymie m'a valu qq temps le surnom de  CloClo ( pas facile avec des lunettes ) et pas toujours amical ............

Ensuite j'ai acheté tous ses livres en Français, le temps a passé,  les polémiques, la presse,  Hemingway le Grand Cirque  s'éloignait dans le temps et la "vraie vie"...

Quand je m'y suis replongé il y avait les nouvelles éditions, le Clostermann d' Aprés la Guerre et sa vie que j'ai trouvé aussi passionante !

Puis le retraité Clostermann a donné des interviews, des enregistrements,  des videos,  Une Sacrée Guerre ( quel livre !),  des mémoires , etc...

Puis sont arrivés les travaux universitaires et le travail de bénédictin de Coisne, et finalement je suis tombé sur les films de Lemsip et tout remonte....

Certainement il y a des trous et des éraflures sur la statue mais tout ça, pour moi, ne lui donne que plus de relief ...D'ailleurs dans ses entretiens il est le premier à mettre en garde l'auditeur pour la propension du pilote de chasse à embellir le vrai...

Le film de 1949 est -aujourd'hui - bien décevant; en voyant les videos de Lempsip , j'ai pensé qu'avec IL2 et le talent du réalisateur , plus qq astuces , on devrait pouvoir illustrer/mixer certains films avec la voix de Clostermann qui colle tellement aux images... Est-ce possible ?

Trop vieux pour m'initier à de nouvelles techniques, je ne peux que lancer qq idées ...et je suis particuliérement heureux de la contribution de ZachariasX qui s'ajoute aux réactions aux videos .....

On en a donc pas fini avec le Grand Cirque et Clostermann, et j'espère bien voir encore bien d'autres réalisations  d e la même qualité 👍

 

Sorry for french writing, I'm tired ...if necessary I'll translate;

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Lemsip

Chapter 'Clouds, snow and Focke-Wulfs' added. OP also edited to be more on topic. Thanks to @DFLion for the great mission (which I edited ever so slightly for the video) and thanks @rowdyb00t for the amazing clouds mod.

 

 

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  • Lemsip changed the title to [Soto Cinematics] 'The Big Show' series by Pierre Clostermann

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